Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Pasha

Pasha would be 67 today.

This is part 3, from Asa Jesus Proveda, one of my favorite of his poems:

in the dry creek bed where asa laid his heart
to rest where they found his daughter
in two inches of red mud

a rose grew there like a sweet black fist

it only opens at night
someone planted a simple cross
of leaves and ash in the month of October.
they say you can hear singing there, soft
joyous noises & the sweet sigh of the soul's
release. leaves are drawn to this place,
leaves & black roses. they say if you sit
there your eyes will close of their own according
to each is seen the singular
fruit of this place.

in time some thirteen moons
three in total eclipse
two old homeless Chicanos
built there shelters there because they said
at night there are unlimited stars,
'cept they said it in Spanish—it's
a peaceful place for dominoes and the water—
when it runs—tastes like sweet bright fire.
& they call the creek Theresa
after Asa's daughter. To this day it runs
sweet & clear, cool & clean beneath
the evening sky
rare black roses
open every night. save one. that would
be the day asa blew his head away.

life—this creek fragile. fragrant
hard to believe yes. hard & delicate
as ever
but if you come the old men say bring
your heart for there will be
no more

merciful beheadings.

I was faithful as possible reproducing this poem; never fully understood Pasha's theory of capitalization (or periods, commas, or linebreaks). He printed these poems off to be read by himself at a poetry event, probably never imagining that others would look at it. Nevertheless, since he's not here to ask, I let it alone.

"life—this creek fragile. fragrant hard to believe yes. hard & delicate as ever"

Goddamn, Pasha...So very true, and so very you. And it gets me every blessed time...

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